Gov’t Comes Up with Steps to Boost Sagging Tourism Industry
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Gov’t Comes Up with Steps to Boost Sagging Tourism Industry
Spring Travel Week, which has been delayed due to the spread of COVID-19, will be expand to one month between June 20 and July 19

23(Tue), Jun, 2020

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun delivers a speech at the 5th National Tourism Strategy Meeting at the Seoul Government Complex on May 26.

The government is pulling all the stops to boost domestic tourism demand to reinvigorate the sagging Korean tourism industry, which is grappling with the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus.

It is coming up with steps to dispense 1 million accommodation discount coupons and give travel product discount coupons targeting 150,000 people.

These are part of a package of support steps the government announced at the end of the 5th National Tourism Strategy Meeting on May 26.

In order to spur spending among domestic travelers, the government is dispensing accommodation coupons that carry discounts of to up to 40,000 won. The coupons can be used online so domestic travelers can prolong their stay.

The government plans to issue 1 million accommodation discount coupons targeting all registered hotels, condos, farming & fishing rental rooms and other accommodation facilities.

The government will shoulder part of the financial burden of the discount, with participating businesses covering a 10-percent share.

Travelers can use a 30,000 won discount coupon when they stay at accommodations facilities charging 70,000 won or less and a 40,000 won coupon for accommodation fees of 70,000 won or more per day. Discount coupons may be used in September and October, after the peak season summer is over.

Minister Park Yang-woo of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) gives a briefing on the 5th National Tourism Strategy Meeting on May 26. (Photos: MCST)

If tourism products are prepaid, travelers will be given a 30 percent discount. About 150,000 travelers will benefit from the discount. The government will cover the financial burden for a 20 percent discount, while participating businesses and local governments will shoulder 10 percent of the discount.

Tourism products qualifying for discounts will be selected via a public lottery involving travel agencies and local governments. Each travel product contract will carry a refund clause that kicks in if the coupon holder cannot travel due to the spread of COVID-19.

A 50,000 won discount will be given to 50 select tourism spots for healing and up to 60 percent off will be offered at entertainment parks across the nation. Financial support will be provided to allow a 40 percent discount to tourism products released by provincial tourism venture companies.

“Badaro” whole-year and weekend tickets for coastal ferries will be discounted starting in the second half of this year, and discounted KTX tickets will be available.

A 50,000-won gift voucher will be given to 120,000 travelers who have been selected in a public lottery. The voucher is eligible for those who can prove they are staying at regional accommodation facilities.

The Spring Travel Week, which has been delayed due to the spread of COVID-19, will start in June. The period of the week will be expanded from the original two weeks to one month between June 20 and July 19.

Transportation discounts via the KTX, expressway buses and coastal ferries during Spring Travel Week will be issued. A 10,000-won camping program will be made available in which each user is allowed a camping site for 10,000 won.

Diverse healing travel programs will be made available to give chances of healing and relaxation to people and medical personnel tired of the protracted virus pandemic.

All plans and the size of programs will be operated flexible according to the situation of COVID-19. Travelers will be encouraged to follow travel conduct guidelines on top of routine social distancing quarantine codes, but events of density will be cancelled or delay for the time being.

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